Can Unbelievers Take Communion?

Jesus_communionCommunion ought to be a time of celebrating Christ’s finished work on the cross. It ought to be a time when we proclaim his victory over sin and sickness. Yet for many, communion is a time of navel-gazing self-examination. It’s a time of asking, Am I good enough for God? Am I worthy?

Although Jesus said “take this cup in remembrance of me,” often we drink it in remembrance of ourselves. This is a misplaced focus. Communion isn’t about you but him. As I have explained elsewhere, communion is a time for receiving the full benefits of what Jesus paid for.

Yet many churches have rules stipulating who can and cannot take communion. Never mind whether you are good enough for God, the real question is whether you are good enough to eat our crackers and drink our grape juice!

I’m not making light of communion. I understand where these rules come from. They come from these three verses:

Wherefore whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this cup of the Lord, unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of that cup. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh damnation to himself, not discerning the Lord’s body. (1 Cor 11:27-29, KJV)

These are heavy-duty verses but you need to understand that Paul is not saying, “If you do communion wrong, God will damn you to hell. He’ll smite you with sickness and death.” No, when Paul tells the Corinthians, “your meetings do more harm than good” (1 Cor 11:17), he is simply saying:

Your meetings are a disgrace. You’re competing with each other (v.18), playing silly games of one-upmanship (v.19), and being incredibly selfish (v.21). Some of you are even getting drunk while others are missing out completely (v.21). By acting this way they you are despising the church and humiliating those who have nothing (v.22). ~My paraphrase

There’s no question the Corinthians were doing communion badly. But neither is there any hint that God was going to smite them for doing it badly.

So how do we account for these three judgmental verses above? What does Paul mean when he says those who participate in an unworthy manner will be guilty of the body and blood of the Lord?

Taking communion in an unworthy manner

In these three verses Paul is speaking in general terms. Note the word “whosoever” as in “Whosoever shall eat this bread…” Paul is not saying you guys are drinking unworthily and you guys are guilty. He is saying whosoever drinks unworthily will be guilty. He is making a general claim of the kind…

–    Whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved. (Rom 10:13)
–    Whosoever drinks of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst. (John 4:14)
–    Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God abideth in him, and he in God. (1 John 4:15)

The proper question to ask is, who is Paul referring to? Who are the whosoever?

You might think it’s anyone and everyone but if that were so, then Paul would be wrong when he says there is no condemnation to those in Christ Jesus (Rom 8:1). Paul is not referring to anyone and everyone in general but anyone and everyone outside the kingdom. He is referring to those who don’t value the cross, namely, unbelievers who take communion without recognizing that Christ died for them. It’s not that they are unworthy – none of us is good enough – but that they are eating and drinking unworthily. They are not valuing what Christ has done for them.

But what does Paul mean when he says that such a person is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord?

Rockwell_forgivenGuilty of the body and blood

An unbeliever who takes communion can no longer claim ignorance of the gospel. He can’t say “I didn’t know Jesus died for me” because he’s eating and drinking in commemoration of that very death.

Someone who has never heard the gospel is ignorant and therefore capable of receiving mercy and grace. But someone who has heard the gospel and scorned it is guilty of the blood and body of Jesus. Although Judgment Day awaits every one of us, such a person has essentially brought judgment on themselves ahead of schedule. That is what Paul is saying in verse 29.

It’s not that God is reaching down from heaven and smiting the scornful with the damnation stamp. They are damning themselves. They’re actually in a worse place than when they were ignorant because now they know. They have heard the good news of God’s grace and have hardened their hearts to it.

Clearly, Paul is not referring to Christians in these three verses. A Christian, by definition, can no more eat and drink judgment on their heads than they can blaspheme the Holy Spirit. Paul is not describing those who have received God’s grace with thanksgiving. He is referring to those who have tasted of the goodness of God but rejected it (Heb 6:4-6). He is describing those who have received the knowledge of truth but are unchanged by it (Heb 10:26).

Being “guilty of the blood and body of Jesus” in 1 Corinthians 11 is analogous to “trampling the Son of God underfoot” and treating as unholy “the blood of the covenant that sanctified him” in Hebrews 10:29. Think of the Pharisees. Think of Judas. They had a taste, they had a glimpse, and they concluded this is not for me. By hardening their hearts to the things of God, they placed themselves beyond the reach of God’s grace and mercy. Clearly, this is serious stuff!

And this brings me back to the question I asked at the top of this post:

Can unbelievers take communion?

Many churches say, “No. It’s inappropriate.” When I published my earlier series on communion many wrote to tell me the same thing. “Since unbelievers don’t value the cross, they shouldn’t be allowed to drink judgment on themselves by taking communion.” But don’t you find it interesting that Paul never says this. He never says,

When you do communion, make sure you don’t give any to the unbelievers among you. But be nice about it. Say something like, “If you’re visiting with us today, please let the cup and plate go past. Communion is for Christians only.”

Paul never says this because it’s a ridiculous thing to say! It is not our job to play the Holy Spirit. Our part is to proclaim the finished work of the cross and one way we do that is through communion. Denying communion to unbelievers is like denying them the gospel. It’s like saying:

I am going to proclaim the good news. If you’re visiting with us today, have the freedom to jam your fingers in your ears. The good news is for Christians only.

Can you see how absurd this is?

[UPDATE: What about verses 31 and 32? See this recent post.]

Communion is a symbol of God’s grace. It represents the awesome price God paid to redeem you from the prison of sin. An appropriate response is to say Thank you Jesus for your death on the cross! An inappropriate response is to dismiss it as irrelevant. This is not for me. Maybe later. But no one will ever respond unless they get the opportunity to respond.

Paul never says, “Make sure unbelievers don’t take communion.” Instead, he says, “Let each man examine himself.” In other words, give everyone a chance to respond.

And what is the proper way to examine ourselves? Answer: In light of the cross. Jesus died for me! Wow! The world says I’m nobody special and I know I am a miserable sinner. But if Jesus did all this for me, then he must really love me. Thank you Jesus!

Taking communion in an unworthy manner is surely a big deal, but it’s no worse than rejecting the gospel. If we are indiscriminate with one, we should be equally generous with the other.

The next time you do communion, don’t worry about who’s saved and who’s not. That’s not your concern. Instead, proclaim the good news of God’s love and grace and let each one respond as the Holy Spirit leads them.

Communion is a time for celebrating Jesus’ death. It is a time for proclaiming the awesomeness of his grace.

It is not a time for playing judge and jury.

65 Comments on Can Unbelievers Take Communion?

  1. Hi Paul, thanks for that great article. I´ve been trying to find out more to exact that scripture. But what do you do with verse 30? “That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep.”

    • That’s a great question, Esther. Although the three verses above pertain to “whosoever”, the passage as a whole was written for the Corinthian Christians. They weren’t doing communion properly, meaning, they weren’t doing it in remembrance of Jesus. They weren’t “proclaiming the Lord’s death.” Why did Jesus die? To deliver us from the curse of sin and all it’s effects, including sickness. In their ignorance, they Corinthian Christians weren’t reaping the full benefits of what Jesus provided and as a result they were suffering sickness and some were dying unnecessarily. I have written more about this in my other communion posts. Start with this one.

      • ok, thank you!

      • myth buster // June 27, 2015 at 3:46 pm //

        They were doing worse than merely not reaping the benefits of Communion; they were provoking the wrath of God by making a mockery of Christ’s death and resurrection. Communion is no idle thing that is no big deal if done wrong: it is a participation in the death and resurrection of Christ, and those who do so in self-righteousness, arrogance or irreverence number themselves among those who mocked and spat on Jesus during His Passion. If anyone partakes of Communion without a clean conscience or recognizing It as a participation in the Body of Christ shows contempt for Christ’s death and therefore incurs God’s wrath, which will be requited in fiery Gehenna on all who die without making peace with God. Furthermore, unworthy Communion incurs fierce temporal consequences, up to and including death, which means Hell stands ready to reap those who partake unworthily. If anyone is holy, let him approach; if anyone is not holy, let him repent.

  2. Thank you for this post. I grew up learning that communion was restricted to participation by believers. A funny thing happened on the way to church this past year: several neighborhood children started coming to church with us (we have seven children and they love Jesus and love inviting their friends to church =o>).

    I found myself struggling with letting them participate in communion (we did not deny them, btw, but I didn’t know if it was the ‘right’ thing). Then I heard in a Rob Rufus teaching where he had allowed an unsaved man to participate in communion; the Gospel was also clearly presented to him at that time. He did not come to Christ that week, but did shortly thereafter.

    It dawned on me – what a wonderful object lesson the bread and the wine (or the cracker and the juice, ha) is for the children that come to church with us. We are able to plant seeds of the Gospel each time they partake. I realize today that we need to also invite them to receive the forgiveness depicted in the ceremony; we will purpose to include the invitation with explanation from now on, praying that the Holy Spirit move in their hearts and minds. He did mine at age 8 =o).

    • Exactly! We should see communion as an opportunity to win the lost, not lose them (they’re already lost!).

      • taking communion in an unworthy manner is about faith if you believe you are unworthy then you are taking in an unworthy manner ,making the work of the cross powerless. If you partake and believe you are worthy in yourself, you will one day have to defend this. In any event even if you partake in the latter manner you are partaking of the false christ, and have not yet been introduced to the real Messiah.You cannot partake of the real Jesus in an unworthy manner, he is in himself your worthiness.The one who became your Righteousness before God at no past, present, or future cost to you.The price paid in FULL,FULL,FULL!!!!

  3. I for one KNOW that my husband is a unbeliever, ( he calls himself an atheist ) He was raised in the catholic church, went to catholic schools, even a catholic college. He tells me the whole Chirst thing is a bunch of crap. What’s interesting though is about 8 yrs ago he wanted to go to a catholic church because he wanted our children to be baptized in the catholic church……..keep in mind all the while ridiculing Christ and all who believe in him. Communion was served of which I partook of, but I did tell my husband that he should not partake if he truly did not believe. Thank God he decided not to. You see….my husband has heard the good news many times. over and over the years his heart has continued to harden. He is very faithful in listening to his doctrianal belief of evolution. I do believe he would have drank judgment unto himself in the sense he would have given access to the enemy, fair game if you will to come and rob, steal, and kill. God has had mercy.

    • Debbie, you did the very thing I’m saying we oughtn’t do – you preached law instead of grace. You said “you should not.” Don’t you see that your husband’s response to grace is not your business? It’s between him and the Holy Spirit.

      Our part is to proclaim the Lord’s death until he comes. Since your husband has already made up his mind on that matter, or thinks he has, how much additional harm can he do by taking communion unworthily? None! Once you have hardened your heart, it’s hardened. (I couldn’t give two hoots what the enemy thinks is fair game. And since when does the devil play by the rules anyway?)

      Rather than give him rules (“you should not”) and condemnation (“you’ll reap judgment”), why not try grace? Trust me, nothing else will win him over.

  4. This is a good post and well explained. True communion is about what Christ did and not about what we are trying to do. I understand the doctrine of healing and how it is supposed to be in the “atonement,” but there is something amiss about this. I have been both a pastor and a public speaker both here and abroad and one thing is certain; believing for salvation is simple, but getting healed is far more complex and for some out of reach forever…

    • Steven, you ask some valid questions about healing, but this post is not the place to put them. Please find a post on healing (use the search box at the top of this site) and join the discussion under one of those posts. Thanks.

  5. I agree that unbelievers should not be prevented from taking communion if they wish to do so. I have a question about verse 30 when it talks about “that is why many among you are sick or have fallen asleep”, might that be the “judgment” come from them keeping their focus on themselves in their examination rather then focusing on the cross and Christ crucified? I’m trying to get a complete picture of the whole passage in context.

    • Unbeliever = under condemnation; believer = no condemnation (see John 3:18). When an unbeliever drinks unworthily – without fully appreciating or valuing what Christ did on the cross – the consequences are eternal condemnation. When a believer drinks unworthily – without fully appreciating or valuing what Christ did on the cross – the consequences are they don’t get to participate in the full benefits of God’s grace. Paul is simply referring to unbelievers in these three verses to show that communion, like the gospel, is a big deal. He is not threatening those whom Christ justifies in any way.

      The word for judgment (or damnation if you read the KJV) in verse 29 is krima. Unlike other judging words (krino, krisis, etc.) which are neutral, krima almost always means a negative judgment in the NT. Another key word is the word for guilty (enochos) in v.27 – it is never applied to Christians in the NT. So we can conclude that Paul is using the most serious language he can to (a) describe what happens to hard-hearted unbelievers and (b) to show believers that communion is important.

      • Brandon // April 1, 2013 at 1:27 pm //

        That makes sense, and your whole post, along with this response to verse 30 fits very well with Hebrews 10:26. In other words, if an unbeliever continues in unbelief after receiving knowledge of the Gospel, then what is represented in communion (sacrifice for sins), has no benefit to them.

  6. if a person asks us if he is “allowed” to take communion, we should tell him that the choice is his and his alone… replying this way is, in itself, offering grace to an unbeliever….
    we should be inviting people into this new Life that Jesus died for us to have… if we tell unbelievers that they can’t take communion – that’s kind of like propping up a “Do Not Enter” sign in front of the Door!

  7. What if an atheist takes the communion and later repents in the future. What happens to the judgement he dranked upon himself in the past when he was an atheist?

    • The same question could be asked of everyone of us who hears the gospel and only later repents. The judgment Paul refers to is eternal condemnation – it hasn’t happened yet. As long as you’re alive you can repent.

  8. chrisvanrooyen // April 1, 2013 at 10:47 am // Reply

    If you have met the real fullness of Jesus the true Christ you cannot partake of this body in an unworthy manner, the reason being is that you understand that your worth is in him. If a person has found or is looking for their worth anywhere else they are already condemned they don’t need communion to be condemned.
    There is no condemnation for those in the real Christ Jesus.

  9. Paul, what do you think about children taking communion? And do you see any connection between the fact that children participated in Passover and the place of children in communion? Somehow I believe they ought to grow up being included until they are old enough to confess otherwise. It seems that to ban children from the Table would be the same as the withholding of grace/gospel message of communion from unbelievers(…?) I would be interested to know your thoughts on this.

    • I hope it would be clear from the post above and this post that I would NEVER ban anyone from the communion table. Banning people from communion is like banning people from the gospel. The law-minded may like to ban people but grace is always inclusive.

      • Thanks for the clarification. I just know that most churches make it a habit to keep small children from the Table because they “don’t understand.” But it seems that in the same manner as with Passover (which is of course a shadow) they ought to grow up partaking and hearing the redemption Story. (Can you imagine the Hebrews sending their children out of the room or sit in a corner so they could experience Passover?) I think it is a way to nurture the Gospel into our children until they are mature enough to fully understand.

      • I totally agree. I strongly dislike church practices that disenfranchise (is that the right word?) the young. I want my kids to grow up thinking that praying and communion and experiencing God’s love in all it’s facets are the normal, everyday experiences of life.

  10. Paul, can you please explain on Heb 6: 4-6, Heb 10:26, as it helps those who think “in grace, its silly to be serious” considering grace as a license to sin.

  11. This is a timely post. My care group is having communion from time to time and we are joined new comers. The question of whether to include them or not came to mind. Deep down, i felt peace including them so they were able to participate. Your post is a confirmation to what The Holy Spirit is telling me.

  12. chrisvanrooyen // April 2, 2013 at 12:58 am // Reply

    When Jesus instructed the disciples in communion he aid do this in REMEMBRANCE of me , you can only take communion if you have met the real Jesus . If you have not met Him you are only drinking and eating.I believe that the warning is to believers not to partake in communion while discussing the latest gossip or sport scores, it should be done in an orderly manner. We should remember that this was the early church everything was new.

  13. i feel crucified with Christ, nolonger i that lives……..this probably answers the question because we are in Christ Jesus sanctified, justified by faith and in eternity glorified with our LORD and GOD. In this world we can share in the communion and remember, grow until then…GLORY BE TO GOD.

  14. I’d be interested on your thoughts regarding a sacramental view of communion (ie as a means of grace) versus communion as an ordinance (ie a symbol). I find it interesting that John Wesley, who held a sacramental view, was very much in favor of administering communion to unbelievers, as he felt that it was a means by which they may encounter God’s grace to lead them to salvation. Thoughts?

    • chrisvanrooyen // April 7, 2013 at 12:32 pm // Reply

      Jesus said unless you eat my body and drink my blood, After the flood instruction is given not to drink the blood, the life is in the blood. My view on this is that if you drink the blood you are responsible for taking the life. If an unbeliever taking communion is convicted of his responsibility this is good as the next revelation would be of the awesome Grace of God. I believe Wesley was seeing evidence of this.

  15. This is the true word of God.

  16. Miriam Morgan // July 26, 2013 at 9:51 am // Reply

    Love this! I am newly Christian, never baptized. I’m looking for a denomination, but I find it very divisive and hurtful to he told, “Sorry. You’re not baptized. No communion for you.” I have found churches that will let you participate IF you “accept Christ”- pretty vague and hard to prove if you ask me. Therefore I think it should just be offered, as a symbol of God’s love and grace. My husband is not a fan of religion, but loves Jesus. I want him to feel welcome at whichever church I want to go to. However- I am not finding one that seems open to this kind of communion. Any suggestions for denominations to check out?

    • I don’t know that I would look for a particularly domination. Rather, search for a group of like-minded friends who love Jesus and who cares what denomination they are. BTW, there’s no reason why you can’t take communion at home with your husband. We often do in our house.

      • Miriam Morgan // July 29, 2013 at 1:02 pm //

        Thank You🙂 I found a church that seemed nice nearby. Progressive and has open communion! We went today and it was wonderful! Very welcoming and loving. We’re going to keep going back and see how it goes.

  17. Steven Colby Walker // February 17, 2014 at 8:27 pm // Reply

    I did this before I was saved and I thought I was at the point of no return. This was the most heartbreaking and terrifying moment of my life and then the following Sunday I opened my heart to Jesus’ and received Him into my heart.

  18. Brain Mukwena // June 4, 2014 at 2:06 am // Reply

    Brother Paul, my question is on who should preside over the communion function…can anyone lead or preside over it.

    • Who can preach the gospel? The answer to my question is the answer to yours.

    • This in my opinion is why religion has problems with common people. According to the Bible, common people heard jesus “gladly,” but this is far from the case today. We have dramatically shifted from simply living out of a sense of purpose and love to talking about whether or not an “unbeliever” can take communion. This comment stream resembles a discussion on how one would acquire a home mortgage. Unfortunate and sad as this is why most of Christianity today revolves around these internal convoluted discussions…

  19. I visited a Church today. I am a secret convert to Christianity. I believe fully in Jesus and His sacrifice. But my name is not a Christian name and I have not been baptized.

    While I was at the Church, I was lucky enough to drop in just before Mass. I participated fully and even went up to receive communion. It’s a church where the priest feeds the congregation, one by one. The priest asked, Christian? I said yes. He asked, then why didn’t say Amen? I apologized and said Amen. He looked annoyed, because I must have done something wrong again, and said, what are you doing? I was confused and blurted, “It’s been a long time since I’ve come to Church”. He replied, then confess and come.

    It was pretty humiliating.

    • I’m sorry you experienced that humiliation Jo. I cannot imagine Jesus ever being annoyed with anyone who came to him to receive something.

      • Ah, to be fair I must tell you what happened after I had some time to digest the experience.

        I understood that he was probably trying to ensure that Communion is not taken lightly.

        Moreover, the experience served as a sudden realization to me that if I am to receive communion, I must become a proper member of the church. Maybe I am being prodded to realize that I cannot simply walk in when I feel like and partake of what is considered to be the most sacred ritual in Catholicism.

        Thank you for your empathy Paul.

    • Hi Jo you say you are a secret convert and this I appreciate, but it seems you have just moved cells and are still in prison , the jailor has just changed, and now become the priest.Jesus even offered his body and blood to the people that crucified him, saying if you do not eat my flesh and drink my blood you will not inherit the kingdom. But this priest makes you that at risk , and in good conscience wish to partake of Jesus, feel guilty about taking communion.Find a church that let’s Jesus in, he is not in the one you visit.He is only there when you visit them.

  20. Is not communion all about remembering what Christ has done- the blood of Christ for the forgiveness of sins and body for the new nature that we have? Communions purpose should be for Christians to be REMINDED of these two things. Sadly, Christians today don’t even know that they have been forgiven and they have a new glorious nature, let alone be reminded of it.

  21. How many unbelievers do take communion? and if they did maybe the Holy Spirit is revealing Christ to them something would have to motive a person from unbelief to belief.When I was a unbeliever and communion was offered to me I wouldn’t take it due to it having no reference to me or meaning until Holy Spirit enlighten my heart then it meant everything and it only took a second for him to do so.The Spirit can teach us all thing’s and it can be done in a heartbeat.

  22. Wow
    Thank you so much for sharing this
    Really sound sensible practical thinking just how Jesus intended it to be and wants the world to understand
    Really liberating
    Go bless you

  23. Would Jesus have taken communion with a practising gay?

    • Well, I beleive that if Jesus broke bread with Judas, stayed in Zachias home, accepted annointing from a prostitute, accepted water from a Samaritan woman, defended an adultereous women, then I would say yes he would. For me, Jesus’ life and ministry is a model of inclusion for us to emmulate; where grace, love and mercy trump judgement.

      How far and wide is Jesus’ love & invitation to come and partake in a meal with him? It cannot be fully appreciated without reflecting on Rev 3:20 followed by Psalm 103 in full. I encourage you to shut out those voices that condemn you and to only have ears to hear Jesus saying “If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person.” and to fully understand that when we trust in him as our Lord, then “as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.”

  24. Although I agree that no MAN can examine the heart of the communion taker, I think it’s an entirely different set of circumstances when the Leader of communion says “we invite non believers of Christ to take communion. No other statement. That’s it. Well, That’s just wrong. That’s a mockery of the sacrament. It would be much better to talk about the gift of Christ, what communication represents and why we do this and then invite those who would like to accept this gift of Christ in their hearts to “come on down” and “take communion”. That leaves the each person with the CHOICE. Not just, Hey, come on up and go through the motions, it doesn’t really mean anything. That’s what you are saying if all you say is “non-believers can take communion”.

  25. Let me add to this comment. No where do I say “you have to take a class” or “you have to be member of the church” or “you have to be baptized” or “pass a test given by the chruch elder” or any other “rule”. If you do not believe in Christ, and you don’t want to, then taking communion is meaningless. I have issue with a church leader inviting non-believers in Christ to take communion with no other information about “the what and why of communion” which can be said in less than 30 seconds. The table is open to all who believe in their hearts that Christ died for them, for their salvation, period.

  26. I appreciate the fact that Communion is all about Grace and the Gospel, not rules. However, it is still possible for either a believer or an unbeliever to take Communion in an “unworthy” manner and reap judgment unto themselves. Thanks for the clarity, Paul.

    • The “judged by the Lord” scriptures have been used to scare the saints into thinking that God will whack them, make them sick or even kill them if they don’t engage in acts of self-purification. I specifically address those scriptures in this post. Thanks.

  27. I agree, I used to separate the sheep and the goats when doing communion, but came to see it as you do. I have found that it is a great way to present the gospel to people, even kids, in an interactive manner; it’s all about Christ, not us.

  28. I have a husband who isn’t believer (yet), on his ID card he’s a Muslim, but he never go to a mosque.
    We’ve been married for more than 10 years. I born as a Muslim, but then Jesus found me. I go to the average church, it’s a big church in my country Jakarta, Indonesia, but they teach us about what we should do/shouldn’t do, i failed in so many way on what God expected on me from what they teach me. I’m tired, exhausted to pleased God, and then i decided to life in sin and when i’m old i will repent. In that church my husband never want to go to church.
    Long story cut, Grace finds me, and i found a grace based church. I go there, even i ask my husband to go with me, and he said yes (For me that’s a miracle).
    I never offer him communion, because he never want to accept it. One day when i take communion Holy Spirit prompt me to offer him, i just do what He told me, and my husband received it, Hallelujah.
    A few month later, he told me that when he take communion he felt warm all over his body and he don’t know what it’s. I just told him, it’s the work of Holy Spirit, because Jesus love you. And told him about Jesus finished work at the cross.

    I don’t know what will happen to him, but i believe on Act 16:31

    • Wonderful story, Anggia. Thank you for sharing. I am excited to hear what the Lord is doing in your lives. I have found that when we try and make things happen, frustration and disappointment is the result. But when we trust the Lord miracles occur. A similar thing happen with my wife, many years ago. When I tried to convert her, it was a total disaster. But once I got out of the Lord’s way, he wooed her and won her and all I could do was marvel. Truly God is interested in saving marriages and families and whole households. If he has one he wants the lot!

  29. Indeed God restore my marriage, Pastor Ellis. Before grace found me my life is such a messed, i’m addicted to drugs, my husband is a drug dealer and drug addict, no love in our marriage.
    Lack of grace, makes me think that God mad at me. I try to please God so that He may blessed me and my family, but then i failed. I found not so easy (even impossible) to please God with our own work. In 2013, after 8 years of marriage and he never change. I don’t love him anymore and feel that i have to divorce my husband. My plan is i want to open new book with clean page without him. But God’s plan is much better (Jer 29:11). In the same year, Grace found me through Pastor Joseph Prince, my mom gave me his book ‘Reign in Life’

    When i know God loves me and doesn’t angry with me, it’s so relieve me. The more i hear and read about God’s love for me it’s radically change my mind. In 2014, God restore my marriage (without my effort on it, it’s purely His work on me and my family, i just rest and enjoy God’s work). Lord Jesus who turn water into wine (John 2:1-11) makes my marriage sweet as wine.
    My husband leave his life as drug dealer, and find a decent Job. Early on this year, i realize i don’t have desire anymore to drugs, never on drugs since then. God gave me Job with good payment and i still have time to hear and read about His love. Now, i go to church with my all family member, 10 years ago i think that impossible.

    I’m addicted to God’s love, His love makes me want to open my bible to know Him more and more. His love captivated me. His love makes me able to in love again to my husband, His love makes my husband love me. Now, all i want to do is to tell anyone i met, that God love you (John 3:16), nothing you do/don’t can change it. Rely on God’s love, not your own work (Jeremiah 17:5-9; Proverbs 3:5). Btw, i still reading your book Hyper-Grace, your book really help me and a lot of people out there, who doesn’t understand Grace. Keep on preaching Grace/Jesus (He is a living grace). Everyone have to know the important of what Jesus done at the cross. God bless you and all of your family, Pastor Ellis.

  30. Wow this is such a blessing! I never heard this! Thank you so much for this!

  31. communion is not for unbelievers. but believers in christ.1co11:26. let man examine himself before taking communion.

    • Who is the gospel for? Who is the cross for? The answer to those questions is the same as the answer to yours for the communion is the good news of the cross in symbolic form.

  32. Great post, Paul. I’ve wrestled with this a lot and it’s nice to see others have come to same conclusions I have. I, too, believe we should not prevent those who are unbelievers from taking communion. I agree that asking them to pass the plate or remain seated just alienates them because it comes across so unloving, regardless of our intentions. I tend to leave it a little more open ended in our services, however, I emphasize, regardless of where we are coming from when we take communion, that Christ tells us to remember him and what he did. That being said, I think where I may need to do some more study is on who the “whosoever” may be referring. I came to the conclusions that because this was written to the church in Corinth, and that the church was made up of believers, that Paul was referring to believers there in 1 Cor 11 when he said “whosoever”. For example, in his greeting in 1 Cor 1:2 he addresses the letter to those “Sanctified in Christ Jesus”. Despite their problems in the church Paul never questions their salvation in 1 Cor. And given the context of the Lord’s supper passage in 1 Cor 11, it seems to me that taking the Lord’s supper was to reflect the attitudes of the first half of the chapter and that is thinking of (or loving) others with our actions. Vs 21-22 I think is key. “One goes hungry” and “Do you humiliate those who have nothing?” It seems to me that to eat in an unworthy manner was partake of the Lord’s supper with a self focus, rather than focusing on the needs of others in the church. Anyway, those are just my thoughts. Again, I may need to do some more study on this. But, thank you again for you insights! I greatly appreciate it!

  33. morris hinson // May 25, 2016 at 11:01 am // Reply

    “Cheap grace is the grace we bestow on ourselves. Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, Communion without confession…Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ, living and incarnate.”
    ― Dietrich Bonhoeffer

    Here’s another quote “Do this in remembrance of me”
    If it hasn’t happened, it cannot be remembered.

    • So when Jesus forgave the crippled man and the soldiers who killed him – none of whom repented – that was cheap grace? I would rather preach the grace Jesus preached than prostitute the love of God with dead works.

      • Morden days preaching is confusing the God Grace as a License for sin. The practice of Communion has been done by Jesus within his Disciples by saying do this in my remembrance of me. Every time When a Believer come in the time of Communion, need to justify himself by confusing this is the blood and body of Christ that had been shed on the cross of Calvary for my sin. Now am I living a holy life according to the will of God. Everyone should understand that in the 1st place Jesus preached the Gospel for the salvation of sin but he practiced communion only with his 12 Apostals. Should not confuse the act of salvation with the act of Communion. Even now a day’s people are taking communion by themselves in their homes. The word communion has it’s own explanation come in unity. Before anyone part take in Lord’s Table, he should believe accept Christ as their personal saviour
        and obeyed his Great commission. Yes God wants everyone to be saved but not by compromising his own Law(ie the righteousness of God). Today’s churches had no Guts to preach the truth, because of the fear, that people will leave the church. Everything God will bring in justice as in Mathew 7:21-24.

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